Introduction

The Australian Museum’s extraordinary minerals collection, curated over almost 200 years, tell a truly amazing story of our planet’s geological history.

Amethyst geode D.47883
Amethyst geode D.47883

Australian Museum Minerals Gallery

The Australian Museum Minerals Gallery is a brilliant showcase of the full breadth of the Australian Museum’s collections in the Earth Sciences.

Gold on Quartz D.57229
Gold on Quartz D.57229

History of the collections

The rocks and minerals housed in the Australian Museum’s extraordinary collection, curated over almost 200 years, tell a truly amazing story our history.

Charles Anderson was appointed mineralogist of the Australian Museum in 1901.
Charles Anderson was appointed mineralogist of the Australian Museum in 1901.

About minerals

Minerals are the building blocks of our planet. Discover what they reveal about the history of Earth and our solar system and what makes them so essential to our existence.

Mineralogy & Petrology Collection Area 2018
Mineralogy & Petrology Collection Area 2018

Mineral resources and environmental impacts

Throughout history, civilisations and empires have been built on mineral resources and they are an integral part of our every day life. However our excessive consumption means reducing our environmental impact is a priority at both global and local levels.

Copper D.60703
Copper D.60703

Rocks from space

Rocks and minerals hold the secrets to the origins and composition of our solar system. They are a fossil record of planetary evolution and can tell us about the processes that formed planet Earth.

Meterorite, tektite. Showing structure on middle surface. Buckanbe, NSW. Microscope image by Nina Kononenko.
Meterorite, tektite. Showing structure on middle surface. Buckanbe, NSW. Microscope image by Nina Kononenko.

Minerals from Australia

The Australian collection is renowned for its mineral diversity, crystal perfection, aesthetic appeal and high Australian content.

Banded Iron Formation
Banded Iron Formation

Albert Chapman Collection

The Albert Chapman Collection consists of 820 specimens renowned worldwide for its mineralogical diversity, crystal perfection, aesthetic appeal and high Australian content.

Angelsite D.50456
Angelsite D.50456

George Smith Collection

The George Smith Collection contains superb and rare specimens obtained from famous mines in Australia and around the world.

George Smith Collection - Smithsonite stalactite D.27965
George Smith Collection - Smithsonite stalactite D.27965

Warren Somerville Collection

The Warren Somerville Collection is a world- class collection that contains some of the finest mineral specimens from over 100 Australian mine sites and numerous overseas localities.

Gem crystal specimen, Beryl (heliodor) - Warren Somerville collection
Gem crystal specimen, Beryl (heliodor) - Warren Somerville collection

Sir Douglas Mawson Collection

The Sir Douglas Mawson Collection contains 2000 Antarctic rock and mineral specimens found during his heroic Australasian Antarctic Expedition.

Sir Douglas Mawson Collection composite
Sir Douglas Mawson Collection composite

Australian Museum Gold Collection

The Australian Museum Gold Collection contains over 980 specimens from Australia and overseas that were donated, exchanged or purchased throughout the life of the collection.

Gold Collection - 'Welcome' gold nugget replica
Gold Collection - 'Welcome' gold nugget replica

Australian Museum Opal Collection

The Australian Museum Opal Collection includes opals from both sedimentary and volcanic origins, ranging from common and precious opals.

Black Opal  D.44323
Black Opal  D.44323

Australian Museum Meteorite Collection

The Australian Museum’s Meteorite Collection is the oldest and one of the largest and most diverse in Australia.

Mundrabilla Iron Meteorite DR.11215
Mundrabilla Iron Meteorite DR.11215

Australian Museum Ornamental Mineral Collection

The Australian Museum Ornamental Mineral Collection consists of exquisitely carved, shaped and polished minerals tracing back to acquisitions in 1878.

Nephrite Jade carving 'Nurse with Goats' D.46836
Nephrite Jade carving 'Nurse with Goats' D.46836
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Crocoite on limonite D.50681